The Sword and Laser discussion

Kindle or Nook?

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message 1: by Ricky (new)

Ricky Holmes | 21 comments Okay, so I'm planning on purchasing an e-reader in January, but am having a hard time choosing. Money isn't really a problem but I would really like to get the best for my buck.

I'd like something that's easy to use, and will make reading an enjoyable experience. I like having the option of using buttons as something being purely touchscreen can be annoying. If somebody has a good suggestion other than the big 2 then feel free to suggest it.

message 2: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2290 comments I think the big first question is do you want an e-reader only (the regular Kindle or the Nook Simple Touch, both of which have the e-ink screen and are great for reading text but don't do much else) or the tablet version (Kindle Fire or Nook HD).

I have the Kindle Keyboard (the previous generation Kindle, not the most current model) and I really like it, but it's strictly a reading device, and it needs some kind of external light source.

The other thing to consider is that whatever device you get, Nook or Kindle, will kind of lock you into one particular ecosystem. (Yes, I know there are ways around it, but I think they're more of a pain than most people are interested in dealing with.) If you get a Nook, then you're going to be buying content from B&N, not from Amazon, and if you get a Kindle then vice versa.

message 3: by Vicky (last edited Dec 29, 2012 08:09PM) (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 52 comments Before I got my Nook Simple Touch I was reading books on my phone. I found that I enjoy reading from the eInk screen much more than I do from than an LED display - so right off the bat I knew I was going with one of the original eInk Kindles or a Simple Touch. Personally, it came down to brand loyalty (and distaste for Kindle's DRM) for me.

The Nook Simple Touch has buttons on the side for paging, but the keyboard is entirely touch screen.

On the Kindle side, the Kindle Keyboard 3G has the full keyboard and paging buttons and the Kindle itself has paging buttons but no keyboard. I believe the Paperwhites are purely touch screen.

It's also worth keeping in mind that many sites offer .ePubs for purchase, while the .mobi files for Kindle keep you more locked in to purchasing solely from Amazon.

message 4: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments I've had a very good experience with the kindle - both with the button version and the Paperwhite. I resisted getting the Paperwhite initially for the same reason - touchscreen = yuk. But the light option sold it for me because I often read in poor light settings. But what I found was that the touchscreen actually works better for me. Feather tap to change pages beats pressing the button hands down - and other things I use like word searches or highlights are ten times quicker now. I can't vouch for the pre paperwhite versions though. The only downside is if you use the kindle to listen to audio. It doesn't have that option. I never used the kindle for audio anyway so the benefits outweigh that by miles.
Whatever you do stay clear of cheap generic brand ebook readers. They are usually clunky and slow as. I bought one for my daughter and I just got frustrated setting it up for her - and she gave up on it. I said I'd get her a better reader but her experience was so bad with that one she has no interest in going ebook at all.
I have no experience with the Nook.

message 5: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4185 comments I got a 2nd gen Kindle in February, 2009. Although I had used eBooks before on Palm and WindowsMobile devices and the eReader app, nothing prepared me for how much I loved the Kindle. The ability to take books everywhere was a huge selling point, as I was getting ready to do on-site customer support for a few months. While on travel, I read a ton of books, many I bought directly on the Kindle.

I managed to kill my first Kindle earlier this year and replaced it with the cheapest Kindle on the market in June, 2012. It's the one without a light and no touchscreen. The thing is SO LIGHT! Yes, it needs a light source but I really do love it.

I want to get a PaperWhite since it has the built-in light source, but I can't justify it right now (unfortunately).

If you're torn on what to get, I recommend you go to Best Buy and Barnes & Noble and try both out. Maybe one will work better for you than the other. Also, if you're an Audible member, you might remember that Amazon does WhisperSync for Voice so if you have a Kindle and Audible version of a book, you can switch between them easily...

I love my Kindle (and use the Kindle app on my phone and iPad, too), but I've never played with any of the Nooks except my mom's (she has the one that is like the original Kindle Fire). I don't notice much difference between her Nook and my Fire but the Amazon app ecosystem is better or so it seems. But really, I strip DRM from my Amazon books so any reader works for me...but I absolutely adore my Kindles and the Kindle experience.

message 6: by Tina (new)

Tina (javabird) | 710 comments Well, I really love my iPad (retina display). I have the Kindle and Nook apps on my iPad, so I can buy books from either store (and check out ebooks from the library for free), but for reading pleasure I really like the iBooks app on the iPad. Also, I have poor eyesight so the ability to enlarge text and change the font really helps.

message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 1 comments I got a Kindle Touch 3G about a year ago and it is my favorite piece of tech. I have a smart phone, laptop and computer, so I had no use for the tablet features. The eink is fantastic. The lack of a light source isn't a problem since I bought a case/cover with a built in light. I take it everywhere and I love it. The touch aspect is good for me since it is just like flipping pages.

I had the same debate between Kindle and Nook. I really wanted to support Barnes and Noble, but this particular model just called to me. I have not been disappointed.

message 8: by Lee (new)

Lee (kiwifirst) David do you find the par white kindle changes pages quicker than the older version? I live my kindle, but since I speed read I find I end up waging for page changes, which feels longer than it akes to read the page:)

message 9: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
I have both a Kindle and an iPad (4th Gen retina display) with the Kindle app.

I never use the Kindle. I find it too dark even in ideal light situations.
I may have a dud one because the ones in store look much better.

I find the iPad Kindle app suits my reading and book buying habits better than the stand alone Kindle.

As mentioned by Tina, the iBooks app is also a great reading option on the iPad.
I also have poor eyesight and need as much light as I can get and enlarged text.

message 10: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Lee wrote: "David do you find the par white kindle changes pages quicker than the older version? "

I timed it for you. There's about a 1 to 1.25 second delay in the page change. My previous kindle is probably a quarter second faster. I don't really read fast enough to say I notice it. But the light and the ease of search and highlight make up for it. Even in well lighted areas, I notice the difference on the eyes.

message 11: by Lee (new)

Lee (kiwifirst) LOL, it feels longer. I have my kindle set to fewest works per line. So there is usually only 6 words on each line. Which allows me to read down rather than left to right. So i find the page changing quite slow. I used to have a Palm pilot way back when and it used to scroll, I could sit there and stare without moving and knock off a few chapters before I needed to blink :)

I will do a test, see how long it takes me to read 10 pages, then calculate how much time is spent turning versus actual reading...... can you tell I have absolutely nothing to do tonight :)

message 12: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Ah, I have about 10 words per line. I find I read faster the more words I have per page. I feel like I'm seeing more words at a time.

message 13: by Lee (new)

Lee (kiwifirst) I kind of look more than read :)
I don't read the words aloud in my head so with the sentances :

She looked out of the window and saw
that the car was parked on the footpath,
Strange, she thought, why would he park

I'd kind of see;

looked window saw
car parked footpath
strange thought why park?

I'd fill in the rest, it is hard to explain. I don't miss out on the other words, seeing 'looked window saw' is enough for me to visualise (hmm probably wrong word) the whole 'she looked out the window and saw'.

Ohho, sorry, should change my name to Hijack-Thread.

message 14: by library_jim (new)

library_jim | 212 comments Kindle Paperwhite is just perfect for me. Didn't really need the upgrade but I'm happy I did. Wasn't sure I'd like the touchscreen either, but it's better than I expected. Still like other formats as well, but for e-reading, it really can't be beat.

message 15: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Gunzel (jeffgunzel) | 18 comments As many have already stated, the trend now is to just buy a tablet. You can get the free software for either store and you won't be limited to just one.

message 16: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4185 comments Jeff wrote: "As many have already stated, the trend now is to just buy a tablet. You can get the free software for either store and you won't be limited to just one."

As an owner of two tablets, I have to agree with the sentiment, especially since it makes it doubly-convenient.

That said, I LOVE reading on my Kindle, much more than reading on my iPad or Kindle Fire or iPhone. It's lighter, has fewer distractions, and (this may just be perception) I seem to read faster on it.

Dedicated readers will probably always be a niche, but I strongly prefer reading on mine over reading on my iPad.

message 17: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6885 comments Mod
The few eBooks I've read, I've done so on my Nexus 7 and been quite happy with it.

I don't own an iPad (or any 10 inch tablet for that matter), but a 7 inch tablet is the perfect size for me to read on, and lets me do a lot of other stuff as well.

message 18: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Namadan (jnamadan) | 218 comments I've had various versions of the Kindle including the latest Paperwhite as I've made almost all my ebook purchases thru Amazon so it makes the most sense. I've gone back and forth between using a Kindle vs the Kindle apps. The Paperwhite was my go to device until the iPad mini came out which that is now my reader of choice. All about the weight/feel which they are now comparable to each other. I'm sure if I go somewhere that I need long battery life, I'll bring the Paperwhite. many choices. Try as many as you can because each persons needs are unique.

message 19: by Shaina (new)

Shaina (shainaeg) | 165 comments I love my kindles. I currently use the paperwhite for most of my reading. The light is great and makes the older eink screens all seem too dark (although they didn't bother me when they were all I used). I love the send to kindle email which makes buying books from other locations and sending them to all of my kindle devices pretty simple. I currently use my paperwhite, 1st gen fire, and samsung galaxy S3 and being able to sync between all of my devices is a key feature.

message 20: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments If you just want to read, go with a dedicated e-ink reader. For that, see if there is a local independent bookstore affiliated with IndieBound. They have a deal with Kobo. You buy the Kobo reader from the bookstore and the store makes money on the purchases you make from Kobo. It's a really great way to support your independents.

If you want the most versatility, go with an iPad (or other tablet) that will allow you to get books from anywhere. You can get apps for Kindle and Nook in addition to using iBooks. The problem with tablets is they tend to be really, really distracting. I've hardly done any reading since I got my Nook HD.

If I hadn't been using Nook for the past 2-1/2 years, I would go for one of the above options. I love my Nooks, but I can see such advantages to the Kobo/IndieBound or a tablet that's neither Kindle nor Nook.

message 21: by Ricky (new)

Ricky Holmes | 21 comments Certainly don't want a tablet. Plan to use it purely for reading. An e-reader is better for reading that much I know and having read on an e-reader and a tablet, the e-reader wins hands down.

Right now I'm leaning toward the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, but my main reservation is that it only supports like 2 formats while a kindle supports several more.

My reservation with the kindle is that the simple one has no touchscreen which I want the option of and the Kindle Paperwhite has no physical buttons which I also like the option of.

message 22: by Robin (new)

Robin (birdyme) | 11 comments I have a Nook and really like it. The only issue is I bought it and the next year they came out with the one that has light around the reading area. Since I'm mostly reading at night in bed I don't want to turn on lights and this one would have been perfect for me. But, I still really like the one I've got.

message 23: by Kim (new)

Kim | 477 comments You can still buy the Kindle Keyboard which I think is the best of the Kindle range so far. I tried my mother-in-law's Kindle Paperwhite and whilst it was good I prefer the physical buttons on my Keyboard version.

After experiences with the Nook Color I don't like touchscreen e-readers.

message 24: by Don (new)

Don McDonald (dmmacs) | 114 comments I love my Paperwhite and I've been in the Amazon ecosystem since the 2nd gen kindle. I read on my phone out of convenience but do the serious reading on the Paperwhite. The one point I didn't see mentioned is the ability to read in the sunlight. I can't use the Kindle Fire (or any other tablet) in the sunlight very well while the Kindles work great. This isn't really a big issue right now in the northern midwest since there is very little sun and snow, but the sun will come back sometime.

message 25: by Ulf (new)

Ulf (hroafelme) | 4 comments Google Nexus 7, Works great and fits perfectly in the hand. Then just download the app you want.

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Onto my second kindle [paperwhite] absolutely wouldn't be without it! The main reason was the night light as I mostly read at night due to work. Wanted an ebook reader and not a tablet because it would be too easy to throw on the net/games etc.

message 27: by Davann (new)

Davann Srey I love my regular Kindle. However, I haven't read from it ever since I got the Paperwhite. I love how it shows your reading progress in remaining minutes for the chapter and/or book.

message 28: by Rik (new)

Rik | 777 comments I have a Kindle Fire and a Kindle App on my smartphone. I think I actually like the phone better just because of convenience since its always with me and far easier to hold in one hand than a tablet reader. I've never tried a Nook.

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Davann wrote: "I love my regular Kindle. However, I haven't read from it ever since I got the Paperwhite. I love how it shows your reading progress in remaining minutes for the chapter and/or book."

Forgot about that, awesome!

message 30: by Lee (new)

Lee Thames (sardonic) | 6 comments RICKY WROTE: "Right now I'm leaning toward the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, but my main reservation is that it only supports like 2 formats while a kindle supports several more."

...Keep in mind the .mobi format is proprietary to Amazon. The .epub format is sold in a variety of ebook stores, Google, Kobo, etc...And I do not like to read .pdf's.

message 31: by Rick (last edited Dec 30, 2012 03:33PM) (new)

Rick | 2867 comments Ricky,

Everyone's telling you what they like and while the reasons might help you, you're not them. Since you've ruled out a tablet I think the issues break into two camps:

First, the device itself. How you like the interaction, performance, etc. You just need to go to stores and try them... this is so personal that it's almost useless to judge how you'll like the devices without handling them.

Second, the ecosystem. Amazon offers a lot of content other than ebooks and has Prime for shipping. BN has less of this. Both have DRM on books where publishers require it. You can remove the DRM from both (not legally though). If you already buy regularly from one or the other that probably helps your decision.

Finally, there's the issue of sideloading things and non-book content. Do you care if you can load books not bought via their store (say Baen ebooks, Smashwords, etc)? If so, look into how easy or hard this is. Do you care about magazine and other non-book content? IF so, look at the support for that on each.

I'd also look at Kobo ( as an ereader and source of books.

PS: THere's also the intangibles. I read on a Retina iPad so can buy from whomever, but usually buy from B&N simply because I don't want to see a monopoly in ebooks. My purchases aren't going to make the difference, but it's a stance that makes me comfortable. Other people don't care.

message 32: by Curt (new)

Curt Eskridge | 90 comments Are the lighted screens on the Kindle paper white and the Nook comparable? I looked at the Nook in B&N and liked it. I would much rather use the Kindle/Amazon store. If they are equivalent or nearly so that would be enough to consider the Kindle more seriously.

message 33: by Warren (last edited Dec 30, 2012 05:49PM) (new)

Warren | 1556 comments de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum
(“ There's no arguing about tastes and colors.”)
Go to a Staples office supply store.
They have both. See which one suits you.
One big decision if you want backlighting.
If you don't require backlighting then the
Kindle keyboard version will let you read with the Wifi on
for about 10 days before recharging.
I don't think there a Nook with a keyboard.
(A few weeks with wifi off)
Which is very handy for long trips.
I also prefer the keyboard over touch screen.

message 34: by Madison (new)

Madison Whitmond | 9 comments I have a kindle and I love it. The only issue I find is that many titles are not available to me due to living in Australia but this issue would be the same if I had a Nook. I solve this by getting my US friends to by books for me and email them :D

Back to the question at hand though I have used both devices and really it's much of a muchness and it really depends on which device you feel more comfortable with.

message 35: by Kim (new)

Kim | 477 comments Well you can't really use a Nook at all in Australia. The B&N store is not available to Australians unlike the Kindle store. The Australian Kindle store is the same as the UK one.

message 36: by Madison (new)

Madison Whitmond | 9 comments Yeah well just as well I ended up with a Kindle then haha. It does frustrate me that it is so hard to buy ebooks. I have no problem with Audible's service and get whatever title audiobook I want generally without issue but I constantly find that I cannot purchase ebooks off the Kindle store.

message 37: by Thurman (new)

Thurman (nycblkboy) | 146 comments Rick wrote: "Finally, there's the issue of sideloading things and non-book content. Do you care if you can load books not bought via their store (say Baen ebooks, Smashwords, etc)? If so, look into how easy or hard this is. Do you care about magazine and other non-book content? IF so, look at the support for that on each. "

Try Calibre ( It will convert any ebook format to anything else. And with millions of free books its great. You never have to worry about format again.

I have a few Kindles including the Fire. When I want to read I use the eink readers. I barely use the Fire. I really can't read from it cause it gives me a headache. And I don't need too.

Finally think hard about your choice. Like someone else said both are closed systems. You will probably use that one for a long time. With effort you can usually transfer from one to the other but I've never done that

message 38: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4185 comments FYI Calibre (which is a great program) can also be used to strip the DRM from Kindle books, so you can read them on any device, too, assuming it supports whatever file type you convert it to.

ArsTechnica had a link to how to do it recently.

message 39: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (masupert) | 215 comments Do you already live in the a,axon ecosystem or are a prime member? You you regularly visit B&N store? If you said yes to one of those then you have your answer. Each ecosystem has some perks for its users. Amazon has its lendi g.ibrary while B&N allows you to read books n the store on your Nook.

I personally own a kindle, but the one thing that the nook has is that you can comparison shop. You can buy books from the Kobo or Sony stores for example and load them onto the Nook. With a Kindle it is Amazon or nothing for any book with DRM on it.

message 40: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2867 comments a couple of minor corrections to recent points...

First, .mobi isn't specific to Kindle, but their new format (which isn't .mobi) is. A .mobi file can be converted to epub using Calibre assuming it's a real .mobi.

Second, Calibre does not, out of the box, de-DRM files. However its features can be extended via plugins and there are deDRM plugins that will do this for you. So, terpkristin is kind of right... but don't just download Calibre and expect it to remove DRM.

My main concern for ebooks is the ability to read them into the indefinite future no matter what reader software I have. I've run across paperbacks from high school, 40 years ago, that I can pick up and read. That means that I refuse to use a proprietary format and I don't want DRM. All of my books are in epub because I have high confidence that I can read those in the future either as epub files as files that I've converted from epub to whatever format future ereaders use.

message 41: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments I have the nook simple touch and love it. That device changed my opinion of Ebook readers. I would say that it all depends on what seller is best for you. Amazon has good prices that B&N usually matches but B&N's store is a little harder to discover new material in. I would go with the Nook hands down because of its matte gray look that isn't painted on. Shows less wear and tear over time (in my opinion of course).

And I know that you said price wasn't an issue but remember that the Nook is cheaper than the Kindle and that the low prices Amazon charges for its devices come with Ads. You have to pay more if you want the device without the screen saver ads. Not a big deal but is good to know.

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